A sustainable landscape looks beautiful, and it represents a lifestyle choice that honors the environment. It minimizes a home’s impact, enhances its value, and creates a habitat for wildlife. Here are eight tips for integrating sustainability for your Laconia, NH, landscape design.
Use Native Plants
Native plants beautify a backyard and help your landscape fit into its location. Dedicate a portion of your landscape to a native low-water wildflower garden, and plant native shade trees to keep your home and outdoor spaces cool. Native plants are perfectly adapted to the environment. They improve air quality, prevent erosion, filter rainwater, and provide a home for birds and small animals. They also require less water, maintenance, fertilizer, and pesticides than imported plants.
Xeriscaping isn’t just a trend, it’s a mindful approach to water use in residential areas. To conserve water, looking into planting drought-tolerant plants. Also see about collecting rainwater runoff in a rain barrel to water your plants (rainwater is better for your plants than chemically treated municipal water). You could also have your landscape contractor add a heavy layer of mulch around plants to slow water evaporation.
Look into a Drip Irrigation System
Drip irrigation systems are much more efficient and sustainable than sprinklers. You will want to have your drip irrigation system well designed so that it keeps the plants nourished with water—and not the driveway. It also needs to be maintained to ensure adequate water flow. The flow could be adjusted seasonally to match predicted rainfall totals.
Use Permeable Pavers
Permeable pavers offer one of the best ways to create a sustainable outdoor living space. Instead of a hot asphalt driveway or predictable poured concrete patio and walkways, permeable pavers are modern, environmentally friendly, and come in gorgeous colors and styles. Permeable pavers add value and beauty to your home, and they allow rain and snowmelt to filter into the ground and replenish the aquifer instead of creating runoff that overly taxes municipal water systems. They are also cooler to the touch than asphalt; this reduces the radiation effect around your home and brings down cooling costs.
To attract songbirds and bats to manage the local insect population, you could look into installing a few nesting boxes, a birdbath, or a natural water feature that will invite them to hang around. You could also plant trees and shrubs to provide a habitat for insect-eaters.
Watch Where the Water Flows
Lower-lying areas of the landscape can be the perfect location for plants that are water-needy. Watch where the water flows, and plant more drought-tolerant plants upstream and water-loving plants downstream. Use a retaining wall to manage water and soil to further help prevent runoff.
Enhance Your Soil Naturally
Reduce the need for fertilizers and watering by composting organic matter and using it instead of store-bought mulch.
Plant Edible and Pollinator-Friendly Gardens
The world’s bee populations are struggling, so give them a helping hand by planting bee-friendly gardens. Edible gardens also attract bees, and provide your family with delicious home-grown produce. Incorporate a small edible garden into a retaining wall or have it sit adjacent to an outdoor kitchen for a visual culinary feast.